NBA Finals | Heat notebook

Miami Heat wants Chris Bosh to be center of attack

 
WEB VOTE Which game are you more eager to watch Thursday – Game 4 of Heat-Spurs or Brazil vs. Croatia in the World Cup?

bjackson@miamiherald.com

It’s difficult for a 6-10 All-Star to become lost during an NBA Finals game.

But that seemingly happened to Chris Bosh on offense in Game 3 of the Finals, for reasons partly beyond his control.

The Heat’s versatile center, perhaps the NBA’s best mid-range and long-distance shooter for a player of his size, touched the ball only 12 times, compared with 39 in Game 1 and 40 in Game 2.

“We hate when that happens because he’s too big for our team for him to ever get lost,” LeBron James said Wednesday. “We can’t allow that to happen for us to be successful.”

What’s more, Bosh attempted only four shots, making all of them. He had attempted that few shots in a game only once before this season: in a November game against Charlotte.

Point guard Norris Cole said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made clear during a film session Wednesday that Bosh must get the ball more.

“He definitely has to have more touches,” Cole said. “It’s our job to get it to him.”

Rashard Lewis said Bosh was “wide open” several times when he didn’t get the ball. And Bosh said he held his palms open on several occasions during Game 3 to signal to teammates that he was open.

He attributed his lack of involvement to lack of “side-to-side ball movement. Everybody knows I don’t get any play calls. That’s how it has been since I’ve been here. I’m very reliant on side-to-side ball movement. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to shoot it every time.

“But [not getting the ball] doesn’t give me the chance to read and react to the defense to get in certain spots to make them second guess what they’re doing. Hopefully, we’ll do a better job of moving the basketball so everyone can be involved to really be effective.”

Whereas the Spurs had 25 possessions with at least six passes, Spoelstra said the Heat had 37 with two or fewer passes.

Turnover problems

The Heat has more turnovers (54) than assists (47) through three games, with James committing 15 and Dwyane Wade 12. Those two combined for 12 in Game 3 “and we can’t have that if we want to win,” Wade said.

With the Heat’s point guards struggling, Spoelstra indicated he would feel comfortable playing without a point guard at times but declined to say whether he’s less comfortable doing so with Mike Miller no longer on the team.

This and that

• Wade, asked to assess his defense, which has been spotty in this series: “I’ve had good moments. I’ve had bad moments. I have great moments of helping. I’ve had bad moments of helping. I’ve had good on-ball moments, bad on-ball moments.”

•  James Jones bemoaned picking up three fouls in two minutes of Game 3. “I was in a bad situation making bad plays,” he said.

• James, who has an early termination clause in his contract this summer, declined to discuss his future intentions.

• Though Ray Allen reiterated he hasn’t made a decision about whether to play next season, he also said: “I love how my body feels and I love the position I’ve been in the past few years.”

• The Game 3 winner of an NBA Finals tied at one has won 30 of 36 series (83 percent). Among the key exceptions: Last year’s Finals, when Miami lost Game 3 and won the series.

• The home team that lost Game 3 of a 1-1 Finals series, as Miami did Tuesday, has gone on to lose 20 of 22 series.

• The Heat bench, which outscored its Spurs counterparts by 25 points in last year’s Finals, has been outscored by 45 by Spurs reserves in this year’s Finals.

• According to Elias, Mario Chalmers is the only starter in an NBA Finals over the past 30 years to play 50-plus minutes, score 10 or fewer points and shoot 25 percent or worse from the field.

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